Cocolife gets World Grand Prix veteran as new import in PSL

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Cocolife intensifies its quest for its first title as it parades a new import when it battles Petron in the penultimate day of classification of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix today at The Arena in San Juan City.

Action starts at 4:15 pm with the Asset Managers bringing in Serbian national team member Marta Drpa to replace American Taylor Milton as this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner enters its crucial stretch.

Also gunning for an important victory is F2 Logistics, which will battle Foton in the 7 pm featured encounter of this thrilling double-header that also has Mikasa, Senoh, Asics, Grand Sport and LGR as technical partners.

Serbian Marta Drpa tips the ball against Thailand Appinyapong Wilavan during the Serbia-Thailand game in the World Women’s Volleyball Grand Prix. Drpa is Cocolife’s new import, replacing American Taylor Milton. AFP FILE PHOTO

With Petron absorbing a sorry straight-set loss to Sta. Lucia Realty, reigning champion F2 Logistics grabbed a golden opportunity to steal the lead following a four-set conquest of Cignal last week.


Both F2 Logistics and Petron are on top of the leaderboard with eight victories in nine matches, but the Cargo Movers occupy the top spot due to a superior quotient, making their respective matches against Cocolife and Foton super exciting.

Whoever will emerge on top after the 10-game classification battle will be armed with a twice-to-beat advantage against the eighth seed while the second seed will face the seventh seed, the third seed will clash with the sixth seed, and the fourth seed will tangle with the fifth seed in the quarterfinals.

“Our last game against Foton will be very crucial as it determines our placing in the next round,” said F2 Logistics coach Arnold Laniog, adding that Kim Fajardo, Aby Marano and Cha Cruz are expected to step up to support imports Maria Jose Perez and Kennedy Bryan against the solid Tornadoes side bannered by Channon Thompson, Dindin Santiago and Elizabeth Wendel.

But all eyes will be on Cocolife.

After witnessing Gyselle Silva break the league’s scoring record with a 56-point performance over the weekend, the Asset Managers opted to bring in a seasoned international campaigner in Drpa.

The 28-year old, 6-foot-3 Drpa, who arrived in Manila on Sunday, campaigned for the Serbian women’s national team in the FIVB World Grand Prix, European Cup, European Championship and World Cup in 2015 together with international stars like Tijana Boskovic, Milena Rasic and Maja Ognjenovic.

She also suited up for Swiss powerhouse Volero Zurich, Spartak Subotica, CSM Tirgoviste and SC Postdam of Germany.

“She will be a big help to our campaign,” said Serbian coach Moro Branislav after her wards survived a five-set scare from Silva and Smart.

“This tournament is very important to our club so we’re doing everything to win.”

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